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The following excerpt lays the groundwork for Career Planning.

The first section of the chapter introduces the Personal Balance Sheet - a model to help you define and achieve work-life balance, while the second section of the chapter introduces "Reality Check Interviews", which help you learn from others' success, in the context of your own personal goals.


Chapter 8: Career Planning Context

Part I of this book was designed to fuel your tanks and start your engine. But inertia without direction won’t bring results.

We’ll start with career planning in context, but from first principles: how do you define success? We’ll then look at how others have achieved success, and see what lessons can be drawn for you. We’ll look at the options, including some you may not have seriously considered before, and then look at the criteria for choosing.

Once you’ve chosen, you will have your basic direction; it then becomes infinitely clearer how to use your time between now and when you make your change. And finally, we’ll give you a few practical suggestions for achieving success in your new role.

Depending upon who you talk to, the purpose of career planning can be defined in many ways:

  • How to continuously get promoted to higher-paying jobs.
  • How to "take charge" of your career by switching from company to company in search of higher-paying jobs.
  • How to plan your career holistically, with training and education, to let you qualify for higher-paying jobs.
  • How to do a job search, to leave your low-paying job and get that higher-paying job.

While the goal of looking for a higher-paying job is extremely important, most people have a few other motivations as well: fun, intellectual challenge, whether you like your colleagues, to name a few. (Sound familiar? Remember the Job Quality Checklist?)

We’re going to look at career planning through a different lens: Does your career head you toward your personal goals? We’ll do this by helping you define, for yourself, what success actually means.

Personal Balance Sheet

Not surprisingly, defining success generically is pretty much impossible, as each person has a uniquely personal view of success itself. The Personal Balance Sheet is a productive model to use, as it defines the categories in which success may be found: Community, Family, Intellectual, Spiritual, Physical, Career, and Financial. Consider what each of these mean, and answer some of the following questions:

[This is just a short excerpt from one chapter. If you like what you're reading, buy the book or attend a Mother Ship seminar to learn more!]

Leaving the Mother Ship is filled with practical, pragmatic, learned-from-the-field ideas that can make a real difference to you.

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